The phrase Opposition in all Things from the Book of Mormon (2 Nephi 2:11) is generally taken to apply to moral development – and the necessity for opposition from Life if people are to experience, learn and progress spiritually.

But I think it is linked also with the underlying metaphysical basis of Mormonism, which is ‘evolutionary’ in contrast with the world view of Classical Theology; and in particular with the unique doctrine that the highest form of spiritual progression – full deity – is only possible for the ‘dyad’ of a man and a woman joined (complementary but not fused – united but separate selves) in celestial marriage.

(A single and separate man or woman can be saved, and may progress a long way towards divinity; but not all of the way to becoming the same in nature as our Heavenly Father and Mother.)

In particular, the celestially-married dyad is the only level at which Man can participate in the ultimate divine attribute of giving birth to spirit children.

At an ultimate level, opposition in all things can be taken as a phrase describing the fundamental metaphysical principle that creativity (taken here to be identical with progression in the harmony with God’s Plan of Salvation) must be a product of two distinct and in-a-sense ‘opposed’ principles.

As the ultimate creative act of having a child comes from the interaction of two persons of the two sexes, so spiritual progression comes from the interaction of ‘opposites’; and what these and other creative situations have in common is that there is a ‘polarity’ (to use Coleridge’s term) in which the two sides are distinguishable but not divisible.

There are many similarities between men and women; but there is also a complementarity of nature which goes beyond the specifics of parturition – the feminine has always been recognised as a ‘centripetal’, gathering, unifying principle; and the masculine as a ‘centrifugal’, exploratory and differentiating principle – both of which are required to make that ‘vortex’ of new life and potential that is a child.

At its very deepest possible level of analysis; Mormonism thus regards life (and love, as its basis) as dynamic, active, creative – and this is because fundamental reality is always a polarity.


(Note: This insight came to me today when reading, and for the first time understanding, the final – and most difficult – chapter of William Arkle’s A Geography of Consciousness, 1974.)

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